Yucca Root (also known as manioc or cassava) is a white, starchy tropical vegetable and dietary supplement (including yucca plants, trees, shrubs, and variegated yucca). The yucca plant, itself, is native to Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Yucca Root contains vitamin C and saponins (a distinctive foaming characteristic), making for a better lather when used as a natural (herbal) soap, body wash, and shampoo. Saponins have antifungal, antibacterial, and emollient properties. Yucca species include: Yucca aloifolia (Spanish bayonet), Yucca schidigera (Mojave Yucca, Spanish Dagger), Y. brevifolia (Joshua Tree), Y. filamentosa (Adam’s Needle), and Y. glauca (Soapweed).
Here are Some “Olde Tyme” Recipes for a Yucca Body/Hand Wash and Shampoo:
Peel the outer skin from 2 or 3 Yucca root tubers (use more if you want to make a lot).
Chop the white root into very small cubes.
Boil in approx. 1 quart of spring or mineral water until the Yucca root becomes very soft and mushy; simmer the root until it reduces to the consistency you want (thickness or thinness).
Let this concoction cool down to room temperature before using it!
Once cooled, use as a body wash or shampoo.
II. Hand Soap or Wash
As a hand soap or wash, you can shred Yucca leaves or p eel the outer bark of the tuber then rub them together between your palms with water to form lather.
III. Dok Kheti’s Yucca Root Lotion
My yucca root lotion works very well as a skin moisturizer during these dry, cold months of fall and winter:
- 1 Yucca Root
- 1 Aloe Vera Leaf (use the inner gel)
- 1-2 Tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2-3 Cups Spring Water (Distilled Water will do as a substitute)
- 1/4 Cup Lanolin
- 5-10 Drops Berberis Extract (from Barberry or Oregon Grape Extract; this is used as a natural antiseptic and preservative)
- 1 Muslin Straining Cloth
- 1 Glass Pot
- 1 Wooden Spoon
- 1 Sterilized Plastic Holder with Lid
Bring the 2-3 cups of spring water to a boil.
Chop the yucca root into quarters, rinse, and then boil until the yucca root is white and mushy, stirring periodically.
Let the yucca root cool then strain using the muslin straining cloth.
Add the rest of the ingredients in and stir vigorously.
Decant the lotion into the sterilized plastic holder with lid.
Note: You may add your favorite essential oil should you wish your lotion to be scented.
Other Botanical Characteristics and Benefits of Yucca Root:
Alterative: Cleanses, stimulates, and aids in the efficient removal of waste products.
Anti-bacterial: Destroys or stops the growth of bacterial infections.
Anti-inflammatory: Counteracts and diminishes inflammation or its effects and as a possible anti-arthritic pain remedy.
Anti-rheumatic: Prevents and relieves rheumatism.
Astringent: Constricting or binding effect, for example: one that checks hemorrhages or secretions by coagulation of proteins on a soft surface.
Bitter: Stimulates secretion of digestion and encourages appetite.
Blood Purifier: Cleanses the blood as well as enhances it by increasing the nutrient value.
Laxative: Stimulates bowel movements.